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Last updated, July, 2014.
1. Are you the only true church/believers?
We suggest you take a look at our Statement of Faith to understand why we say, we do not know. There was a church in Murfreesboro, TN, but that has since dissolved. Other than that, we have not yet, as of this date, found another church that is in the truth (1 John 4:6), and we have been to many. Will we find one? Actually, the real question is, will Christ find one?
When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8, see also 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2)
Some foolishly (Matthew 7:1-2) judge us to be in error because we can not name another true church, but their standard is a standard of men, not the word of God (Matthew 15:8-9).
In regards to other Christians, we believe God has always had His remnant (Romans 11), and there is at least one Rechabite (Jeremiah 35:18-19) and a few true Jews on the planet (Romans 2:28-29; 11:2-5, 25). But, we have yet to meet any other disciples of Christ who we are convinced are among those who continue in the faith (Romans 2:7; 1 John 2:3-5). We long to meet other saints, but the days we live in are dark (Revelations 12:9), and most are deceived (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2). To our recollection, we have only met one believer that was already in the truth before they met us, and in this case, they had just recently repented. Other than this one exception, everyone we have met has been in some way caught in the deceit of this age (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2). We ourselves were caught in such deception, but the Lord delivered us from those who speak perverse things; and He continues to deliver us (Proverbs 2:12).
Q2. Can you name any other true believers/teachers in history (outside of the Bible) since the early church (100 AD) until now?
No, and some are aghast that we would answer in such a way. They erroneously conclude, therefore, that we must be a cult. But, here again is another man-made standard by which fools judge (Matthew 7:1-2). Where in the Word of God does it say we should be able to name true believers of the past? Nowhere. For a more detailed response to this question, see our article, Believers Of The Past.
Q3. How many people are in your church?
Currently there are about 50 people. We have often been wrongly accused of evil because our size is small. But we know truth is not by majority vote (2 Peter 2:2), and narrow is the way and few find it (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24).
Q4. Do you ever sin?
Please see Ecclesiastes 7:20 and 1 John 1:8 & 9 for the answer to this one.
Q5. Has Darwin ever been convicted of a crime?
No, as of this date Darwin has never even been arrested. Actually, Darwin served as a Probation Officer for several years.
Q6. Are you in any way militant (like David Koresh) or reclusive or communal (like Jim Jones)?
No. We live in our own homes. Some have guns. Some do not.
We believe in obeying the governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13), and we also believe many of the preachers today (like MacArthur, Hayford, Stanley, Catholicism, etc.) that teach a "Christian" can commit suicide and yet still end up in heaven are akin to the type that have served lethal Flavor Aid in the past. If they do not actually serve literal suicidal grape drink, they certainly offer the spiritual poison that leads to hell (click here for more on suicide).
Q7. How much about Him must you believe to be saved?
On your statement of faith you must have faith in the testimony of who Jesus really is. How much about him must you believe to be saved? You can keep on learning more and more about the word as you read the bible and hear preachers, but when is it exactly that you believe enough about him to "have faith in the true jesus"?
Abraham was saved and he simply believed, "So shall your descendants be" (Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3). It is not a matter of how much. It is a matter of where. Where is the trust (faith). If it is in what God says, and only in what God says (Proverbs 4:27a), therein is salvation (Matthew 4:4; John 1:1; 14:6).
Q8. Do you think your theology is 100% correct?
We know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), but what we do know we hold fast to (Philippians 2:16; Titus 1:9) and fight for (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Jude 3). We know we are still capable of sin (1 John 1:8-10), so we know we are quite capable of being wrong, that's why we love Biblical correction. It is the way of life (Proverbs 6:23).
Sadly, because of this human error factor, people typically believe the truth cannot be known on a vast amount of Scripture. But, we know otherwise (Psalm 25:14). We hold fast to what we know to be true and are ready to repent if shown otherwise via the Word of God, because we believe this is the only way to eternal life - faith in God's word, all of it (Matthew 4:4; James 1:21).
Q9. Why is your exegesis superior to that of others?
Q10. Are you saying that you have to do more than just believe on Christ's death and resurrection to be saved?
Yes, you need to believe in Christ Himself (John 3:16), not just what He did. Jesus Christ is all of the Bible, the word of God (Revelation 19:13; Hebrews 4:12-13; James 1:21; Matthew 4:4). Your trust must be in God's word, because that's who Jesus is (John 1:1, 14).
Q11. Are you saying that you worship the Bible?
Yes, not the paper, ink, or cover, but all that it says we worship and live by (Psalm 56:4, 10; 130:5; 138:2; Isaiah 66:2).
Q12. What if a person believes in Jesus and trusts Him with their life, but has some theological issues wrong? What if they have misinterpretted some Scriptures? Do you believe that person will still be saved?
Being saved = coming to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4; John 14:6; Hebrews 10:26). Therefore, theological error is greatly diminished in true salvation. Anyone whose theology characteristically contradicts Scripture is lost (1 John 2:4). They do not believe in Jesus, no matter what they claim. They do not have God (2 John 9).
There are certain things Scripture identifies as theologically damning. In other words, if they have this theological error, they are not saved and do not believe in Jesus no matter what the person claims.
For example, believing in a false gospel is damning (Galatians 1:8-9). There is no salvation in a false way (Matthew 7:13-14). If part of the person's theological error is a false way, as the false way in the prevailing false Christianity, then their claim to believe in Christ is false.
Another example of this is faith in a false Christ (as in Matthew 24:24 or 2 Corinthians 11:4). If the person you speak of "believes in Jesus and trusts Him," but that "Jesus" he believes in is a false Jesus, then this theological issue is damning. There is no salvation in a false Christ. And, that is what false Christianity promotes, a false Jesus (e.g. see our article on Greg Laurie).
Moreover, no matter what the theological error is, if they continue in it, even after being shown the truth (as in 1 Timothy 6:3-5), they manifest they do not believe in Jesus (the Bible), because he who is of God hears God's word (John 8:47).
The crux of salvation is finding the truth and remaining in it (John 14:6;15:1-6). Therefore, theological error, no matter what the issue, has the potential to damn the soul, as Peter wrote,
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Furthermore, there is a huge difference between someone who is on an entirely false way (the broad way, Matthew 7:13-14), a false religion (false Christianity), and someone who is in the truth (true Christianity, which is true Judaism, Romans 2:28-29). One is completely caught in lies and deception, idolatry/demons, and false religion. The other is in the Truth (John 14:6), knows in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), and is growing in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). As it says in Proverbs 9:9, "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." See also Proverbs 1:5.
A fool and a scoffer (synonymous terms, e.g. Proverbs 9:7/14:3/17:21/21:24/Psalm 10:4/14:1), that is, someone caught in false Christianity, will not increase in learning (Proverbs 14:6; 17:10, 16; 27:22), because they haven't learned anything to begin with. Their heart is darkened (Romans 1:21-22; Ephesians 4:18), and they know nothing (as in 1 Timothy 6:4). Because, the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). The men we expose and those involved in false Christianity do not fear God, thus they have not even begun to have knowledge, because they "despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). Therefore, the "knowledge" they appear to have is only part of the Satanic deception (Revelation 12:9) to create the delusion that they are in the truth. But, actually, they twist all of the Bible (2 Peter 3:16), and they hate the Truth and are pawns of the devil (e.g. 2 Timothy 2:26).
Therefore, there is a massive difference between those caught in false Christianity and those in the Truth. The liars (1 John 2:4), the false teachers, are simply propagating their lies, their false religion, and will only grow worse (2 Timothy 3:13). True believers, who will be wrong on occasion, correct their errors (Proverbs 9:9) and grow in truth (2 Peter 3:18), because they are on the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2) which is the way of life (John 14:6), as it is written,
For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)
Q13. I thought saving us was Jesus' job. Doesn't the blood of Christ save us from damnation and not our "knowledge"?
Man's self-inflicted ignorance and lack of knowledge and understanding (Romans 1:18-22; Ephesians 4:18) is what is bringing him to hell (as in Hosea 4:6a). Jesus is the only One who gives the knowledge it takes to be saved (Psalm 25:14; Matthew 11:25-27; Mark 4:11-12; Romans 9:16, 18). That knowledge is faith in His word (John 1:1, 14; 3:16; Revelation 19:13). His blood is only applied to those who have this knowledge (Romans 5:1-2, 9; Revelation 21:8). As it is written, God our Savior,
desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4).
Q14. How do you know the Bible is true?
The Bible is self evident, just as God is self evident (e.g. Romans 1:18-21), and the Bible (the Scriptures) and God are one and the same (e.g. John 10:35; Galatians 3:8; Revelation 19:13). It does not say the physical paper, ink, or cover is God, but what is said is the Word, and the Word is God (John 1:1).
Romans 1:18-21 reveals men are without excuse, because God is clearly seen in His creation (Romans 1:20). Since the Word of God (the Bible) is God, His Word is as well clearly seen (i.e. self evident) in creation, as it is written:
"The heavens declare the glory of God." (Psalm 19:1)
In other words, the heavens speak forth God's word, as Paul wrote, quoting Psalm 19:4,
"Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." (Romans 10:18)
Paul speaks in the context of the gospel being proclaimed, thus Paul reveals the gospel (God's word) is proclaimed in creation, in particular in the heavens.
But that's not the only place His word is being proclaimed. It is proclaimed in the outside, in the streets, in the open squares, at the gates of cities, on high hills, where paths meet, to men everywhere, wisdom, who is Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 1:24), who is the word of God (Revelation 19:13), is being proclaimed to men (Proverbs 1:20-23; 8:1-7); but they refuse to listen (Proverbs 1:24; Romans 1:18-21). And God holds them to account for not taking heed (Proverbs 1:24-33).
This is another way you can see that the Bible (God's word) is self evident, via God's response to those who do not believe. It is judgment, eternal judgment, for not believing (e.g. John 3:36; Revelation 21:8).
For example, when a man who was a son of a prophet spoke the word of the Lord to his neighbor, "Strike me, please," and the man refused to strike him, God killed him for not hitting him, for not obeying His word (1 Kings 20:35-36). And so it is for everyone who does not believe the testimony God has given of His Son (the Bible). If you don't believe the Bible, no matter who you are, you make God a liar (1 John 5:10). Everyone will be held accountable and be judged by His word (Hebrews 4:12-13).
Sadly, because men are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), they do not heed His word however it may come to them, and they are in the bondage of the devil (Acts 26:18) and in great darkness (Ephesians 4:17-18). The beginning of breaking out of this darkness is to literally fear God (Proverbs 9:10). As Jesus said,
"If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God . . ." (John 7:17).
Salvation breaks the vicious cycle of sin and unbelief, and brings the knowledge of God and His word (Proverbs 2:1-12; John 8:47).
Peter G. Habegger sent Darwin the book, The Journey from Texts to Translations, by Paul D. Wegner. The following is Darwin's email (edited) to Mr. Habegger after receiving the book.
To: Peter G. Habegger
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 1:43 PM
Subject: The Holy Scriptures
Thank you again for the book. I enjoyed reading it. Sadly, it is evident the author is a false teacher caught in the prevailing false Christian world (www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html), but it was interesting nonetheless.
On page 101, speaking of the OT Wegner writes,
"The books that were later placed into the Old Testament canon were of a self-authenticating nature and did not derive their authority from a person or an ecclesiastical decree."
Similiarly, on page 147 speaking in the context of the New Testament Wegner writes,
"It is important to remember that the Christian church did not canonize any book. Canonization was determined by God."
That is true.
Scripture is self-evident, since Scripture is God Himself (John 1:1, 14; Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 19:13). As God is self-evident in creation (Romans 1:18-20), so He is self-evident in His word. It does not take a church counsel or two or three to know God's word is God's word, it takes the Spirit of God working in a man (John 7:17; 8:47; 1 Corinthians 2:14-15) to know. Otherwise, men are left to the darkness and blindness of their own hearts (Ephesians 2:1; 4:18) held captive by Satan (2 Timothy 2:26) and the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). The confusion and debate over what is Scripture discussed by Wegner well illustrates the darkened mind of man.
It is immaterial what the false church (yes, false church, Catholic, etc., as the book discusses) has done. Even God's chosen people (the Jews) were corrupt, yet they were keepers of His Holy Word (Jeremiah 2:8). So, whether God used unholy men or not to preserve His word is immaterial. He nevertheless has perserved His word, and it is only by the Spirit of God any man will ever know it is His word and respond to it properly. It is not via Church counsels. It is via the Spirit of God.
Two sentences after the above quote Wegner writes,
"The little we know regarding this process . . . " [that is, of canonization] (p. 147)
Throughout the book Wegner uses the terms "seems," "probably," "appears," "suggest," etc.. That well sums up the sandy ground of history. It is not solid ground (Eccesiastes 1:11), especially when it comes to ones eternal soul. No trust should be placed there, as it is trust in man and his writings (Jeremiah 17:5).
So, we know the Bible is God's word, not because of history or what man has done with it, but because of the Spirit of God that gives light to every man who comes into the world (John 1:9).
In fact, this is something Mr. Wegner denies, that is, that God's word, the very gospel and message that saves (James 1:21), is given to every man, apart from any in hand physical written text. Wegner quotes (in agreement with) the Westminster Confession of Faith, stating,
"Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable [Rom. 1:17-20; 2:14]; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation [John 17:3; 1 Cor. 1:21; 2:13-14]:" (p. 27)
That is lie. Nowhere does the Bible teach it is not sufficient. In fact, the very text Wegner cites speaks of the knowledge of God men know, but reject (Romans 1:18-20), and another passage notes that it is the knowledge of God that is eternal life (John 17:3). Men reject the very knowledge that would save them (Romans 1:28; Proverbs 1:24-29).
Moreover, Paul explicitly declares that the gospel is preached in creation (Romans 10:18/Psalm 19:1-4), and the Bible exemplifies men being saved with no mention of any written text (e.g. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Job, etc., See Psalm 147:19-20 & Acts 10:35).
You stated in your first email,
"If you believe that the early church leaders, whose writings God used to help establish the New Testament canon, were false teachers, and were unsaved according to the Bible, then how then can you trust the New Testament Canon? You cannot."
Yes we can, because the New Testament is God's word, regardless of what wicked men have done.
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